• Are fathers underused advocates for breastfeeding?

      Kenosi, M; Hawkes, C P; Dempsey, E M; Ryan, C A (Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), 2011-11)
      Fathers' knowledge base and attitudes influence breastfeeding practice. We aimed to evaluate if Irish fathers felt included in the breastfeeding education and decision process. 67 fathers completed questionnaires, which assessed their role in the decision to breastfeed, knowledge regarding the benefits of breastfeeding and attitude towards breastfeeding.Forty-two (62.7%) of their partners were breastfeeding. Antenatal classes were attended by 38 (56.7%); 59 (88.1%) discussed breastfeeding with their partners and 26 (38.8%) felt that the decision was made together. Twelve (48%) fathers of formula fed infants were unaware that breastfeeding was healthier for the baby. Most fathers (80.6%) felt that breastfeeding was the mother's decision and most (82.1%) felt that antenatal information was aimed at mothers only. Irish fathers remain relatively uninformed regarding the benefits of breastfeeding. This may contribute to their exclusion from the decision to breastfeed. Antenatal education should incorporate fathers more, and this may result in an improvement in our breastfeeding rates.
    • Benchmarking care for very low birthweight infants in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

      Murphy, B P; Armstrong, K; Ryan, C A; Jenkins, J G; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork,, Ireland. brendanpaul.murphy@hse.ie (2012-01-31)
      BACKGROUND: Benchmarking is that process through which best practice is identified and continuous quality improvement pursued through comparison and sharing. The Vermont Oxford Neonatal Network (VON) is the largest international external reference centre for very low birth weight (VLBW) infants. This report from 2004-7 compares survival and morbidity throughout Ireland and benchmarks these results against VON. METHODS: A standardised VON database for VLBW infants was created in 14 participating centres across Ireland and Northern Ireland. RESULTS: Data on 716 babies were submitted in 2004, increasing to 796 babies in 2007, with centres caring for from 10 to 120 VLBW infants per year. In 2007, mortality rates in VLBW infants varied from 4% to 19%. Standardised mortality ratios indicate that the number of deaths observed was not significantly different from the number expected, based on the characteristics of infants treated. There was no difference in the incidence of severe intraventricular haemorrhage between all-Ireland and VON groups (5% vs 6%, respectively). All-Ireland rates for chronic lung disease (CLD; 15-21%) remained lower than rates seen in the VON group (24-28%). The rates of late onset nosocomial infection in the all-Ireland group (25-26%) remained double those in the VON group (12-13%). DISCUSSION: This is the first all-Ireland international benchmarking report in any medical specialty. Survival, severe intraventricular haemorrhage and CLD compare favourably with international standards, but rates of nosocomial infection in neonatal units are concerning. Benchmarking clinical outcomes is critical for quality improvement and informing decisions concerning neonatal intensive care service provision.
    • Blood carbon dioxide levels and adverse outcome in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

      Nadeem, Montasser; Murray, Deirdre; Boylan, Geraldine; Dempsey, Eugene M; Ryan, C Anthony; Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      We investigated pCO(2) patterns and the relationship between pCO(2) levels and neurodevelopmental outcome in term infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Blood gases during the first 72 hours of life were collected from 52 infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Moderate hypocapnia (pCO(2) <3.3 kPa), severe hypocapnia (pCO(2) <2.6 kPa), and hypercapnia (pCO(2) >6.6 kPa) were correlated to neurodevelopmental outcome at 24 months. Normocapnia was documented in 416/551 (75.5%) of samples and was present during the entire 72 hours in only 6 out of 52 infants. Mean (standard deviation) pCO(2) values did not differ between infants with normal and abnormal outcomes: 5.43 (2.4) and 5.41 (2.03), respectively. There was no significant association between moderate hypocapnia, severe hypocapnia, or hypercapnia and adverse outcome (odds ratio [OR] = 1.84, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.49 to 6.89; OR = 3.16, CI = 0.14 to 28.45; and OR = 1.07, CI = 0.24 to 5.45, respectively). In conclusion, only one in nine newborns had normocapnia throughout the first 72 hours. Severe hypocapnia was rare and occurred only in ventilated babies. Hypercapnia and hypocapnia in infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy during the first 72 hours of life were not associated with adverse outcome.
    • Early blood glucose profile and neurodevelopmental outcome at two years in neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy.

      Nadeem, Montasser; Murray, Deirdre M; Boylan, Geraldine B; Dempsey, Eugene M; Ryan, Cornelius A; Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      BACKGROUND: To examine the blood glucose profile and the relationship between blood glucose levels and neurodevelopmental outcome in term infants with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy. METHODS: Blood glucose values within 72 hours of birth were collected from 52 term infants with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy. Hypoglycaemia [< 46.8 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L)] and hyperglycaemia [> 150 mg/dL (8.3 mmol/L)] were correlated to neurodevelopmental outcome at 24 months of age. RESULTS: Four fifths of the 468 blood samples were in the normoglycaemic range (392/468:83.8%). Of the remaining 76 samples, 51.3% were in the hypoglycaemic range and (48.7%) were hyperglycaemic. A quarter of the hypoglycaemic samples (28.2%:11/39) and a third of the hyperglycaemic samples (32.4%:12/37) were recorded within the first 30 minutes of life. Mean (SD) blood glucose values did not differ between infants with normal and abnormal outcomes [4.89(2.28) mmol/L and 5.02(2.35) mmol/L, p value = 0.15] respectively. In term infants with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy, early hypoglycaemia (between 0-6 hours of life) was associated with adverse outcome at 24 months of age [OR = 5.8, CI = 1.04-32)]. On multivariate analysis to adjust for grade of HIE this association was not statistically significant. Late hypoglycaemia (6-72 hours of life) was not associated with abnormal outcome [OR = 0.22, CI (0.04-1.14)]. The occurrence of hyperglycaemia was not associated with adverse outcome. CONCLUSION: During the first 72 hours of life, blood glucose profile in infants with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy varies widely despite a management protocol. Early hypoglycaemia (0-6 hours of life) was associated with severe HIE, and thereby; adverse outcome.
    • Early blood glucose profile and neurodevelopmental outcome at two years in neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy.

      Nadeem, Montasser; Murray, Deirdre M; Boylan, Geraldine B; Dempsey, Eugene M; Ryan, Cornelius A; Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2011-02)
      To examine the blood glucose profile and the relationship between blood glucose levels and neurodevelopmental outcome in term infants with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy.
    • The impact of maternal celiac disease on birthweight and preterm birth: a Danish population-based cohort study.

      Khashan, A S; Henriksen, T B; Mortensen, P B; McNamee, R; McCarthy, F P; Pedersen, M G; Kenny, L C; Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University College , Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. a.khashan@ucc.ie (2012-01-31)
      BACKGROUND: Adverse pregnancy outcomes have been associated with maternal celiac disease (CD). In this study, we investigate the effect of treated and untreated maternal CD on infant birthweight and preterm birth. METHODS: A population-based cohort study consisted of all singleton live births in Denmark between 1 January 1979 and 31 December 2004 was used. A total of 1,504,342 babies were born to 836,241 mothers during the study period. Of those, 1105 babies were born to women with diagnosed CD and 346 were born to women with undiagnosed CD. Women with diagnosed CD were considered as treated with a gluten free diet while women with undiagnosed CD were considered as untreated. The outcome measures were: birthweight, small for gestational age (SGA: birthweight <10th centile), very small for gestational age (VSGA: birthweight <5th centile) and preterm birth. We compared these measures in treated and untreated women with those of a reference group (no history of CD). RESULTS: Women with untreated CD delivered smaller babies [difference = -98 g (95% CI: -130, -67)], with a higher risk of SGA infants [OR = 1.31 (95% CI: 1.06, 1.63)], VSGA infants [OR = 1.54 (95% CI: 1.17, 2.03)] and preterm birth [OR = 1.33 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.72)] compared with women without CD. Women with treated CD had no increased risk of reduced mean birthweight, risk of delivering SGA and VSGA infants or preterm birth compared with women without CD. CONCLUSION: Untreated maternal CD increases the risk of reduced birthweight, the risk of delivering SGA and VSGA infants and preterm birth. Diagnosis and presumed treatment of maternal CD with a gluten-free diet appeared to result in a birthweight and preterm birth rate similar to those in women without CD.
    • The management of reduced fetal movements in an uncomplicated pregnancy at term: results from an anonymous national online survey in the Republic of Ireland.

      Unterscheider, J; Horgan, R P; Greene, R A; Higgins, J R; The Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University, College Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland., julia_unterscheider@hotmail.com (2012-01-31)
      There is currently inconsistent evidence and clinical guidance on how to best manage a pregnancy complicated by reduced fetal movements. This novel, web-based, anonymous questionnaire evaluated 96 assessment and management approaches from doctors working in obstetrics in the Republic of Ireland who were presented with a clinical scenario of a primigravida concerned about reduced fetal movements at 39+3 weeks' gestation. This study identified a lack of clinical practice guidelines available in maternity hospitals in the Republic of Ireland. We demonstrated that almost all clinicians applied more than one assessment method and that most incorporated a cardiotocograph into their assessment. There was a low uptake of simple symphysio-fundal height measurement and high usage of kickcharts. The minority of clinicians admitted or induced their patients. This survey identified the need for national and international guidelines to ensure safe antepartum care and delivery.
    • No more tears? Maternal involvement during the newborn screening examination.

      Ganda, Augustine Josie; Fara Ibrahim, Laila; Natchimutu, Kannan; Ryan, C Anthony; Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland, University College Cork, Cork,, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      BACKGROUND: Babies often show signs of discomfort and distress by crying during the neonatal screening examination (NSE). The authors hypothesized that supporting the baby with maternal participation may reduce infant crying during NSE. The objective of this study was to document incidental infant crying during NSE, before and after training residents, on maternal involvement and infant comfort techniques to help. METHODS: A total of 20 NSEs of normal newborn babies by pediatric residents were observed (video-recorded) following informed consent of the doctor and the baby's mother. The examining doctors were then taught how to use maternal participation and developmental care (MPDC) comfort techniques to support the baby during NSE. Mothers were shown how to focus on their baby's needs by supporting the baby's head (preventing atonic neck reflexes) and, if necessary, providing nonnutritive sucking to the baby and an encouraging, repetitive low-tone voices to sooth the baby. A further 14 NSEs on different babies were video-recorded using these techniques. The video recordings were analyzed by independent observers for total length of crying and duration of crying during specific components of the NSE. Mothers in both groups were given a questionnaire to assess their opinions of the NSE. RESULTS: The median length of crying was significantly longer in the pre-MPDC group (93.5 seconds; range 0-198 seconds) compared with the post-MPDC infants (0 seconds; range 0-123 seconds; P = .001). Only 1 of 20 infants in the pre-MPDC did not cry during NSE compared with 8 of 14 babies in the post-MPDC group. CONCLUSION: Newborn infants cry less and mothers were more satisfied with NSEs when shown simple support and comfort techniques for their babies.
    • Nucleated red blood cells and early EEG: predicting Sarnat stage and two year outcome.

      Walsh, B H; Boylan, G B; Murray, D M; Neonatal Brain Research Group, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, , Ireland. Bh.walsh@ucc.ie (2012-01-31)
      AIMS: Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy (HIE) causes characteristic changes of the electroencephalogram (EEG), and a raised Nucleated Red Blood Cell (NRBC) count compared to controls. We wished to examine whether combining these markers could improve their ability to predict HIE severity in the first 24h. METHODS: Term infants with HIE were recruited. NRBC count and continuous multi-channel EEG were recorded within the first 24h. Neurological assessment was carried out at 24 months. A control population with NRBC counts in the first 24h was recruited. RESULTS: 44 infants with HIE and 43 control infants were recruited. Of the HIE population 39 completed a 2 year follow-up. The median NRBC count differed significantly between the controls and those with HIE (3/100 WBC [range of 0-11] vs 12.3/100 WBC [0-240]) (p<0.001). Within the HIE population the median NRBC count was significantly greater in infants with moderate/severe HIE than mild (16/100 WBC [range of 0-240] vs 8/100 WBC [1-23]) (p=0.016), and among infants with abnormal outcome compared to normal (21.3/100 WBC [1-239.8] vs 8.3/100 WBC [0-50])(p=0.03). The predictive ability of EEG changed with time post-delivery, therefore results are given at both 12 and 24h of age. At both time points the combined marker had a stronger correlation than EEG alone; with HIE severity (12h: r=0.661 vs r=0.622), (24h: r=0.645 vs r=0.598), and with outcome at 2 years (12h: r=0.756 vs r=0.652), (24h: r=0.802 vs r=0.746). CONCLUSION: Combining early EEG and NRBC count to predict HIE severity and neurological outcome, improved the predictive ability of either in isolation.
    • Palivizumab use in preterm neonates.

      Kingston, S; Murphy, B P; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork. (2012-01-31)
      Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of bronchiolitis in infants. Palivizumab is an immunoprophylactic agent for RSV prevention in preterm infants and those with neonatal chronic lung disease. This study examines its use across neonatal units in Ireland. A questionnaire was administered to one Consultant Neonatologist or Paediatrician in each of the 20 maternity centres in Ireland about their guidelines for Palivizumab administration. There is variation in administration of Palivizumab with little consistency found between protocols reported in terms of age and presence of chronic lung disease. Ten centres have in house protocols, 3 centres use the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) guidelines, 2 centres prefer the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) guidelines and 3 centres do not have a set protocol. Four participants felt its use has impacted on hospital admissions and 61% believe its use is cost effective. The budgetary implication for immunoprophylaxis with Palivizumab in Ireland is estimated at 1.5 to 2 million euros annually. Given current pharmacoeconomic constraints there is a need to implement a national protocol on RSV immunoprophylaxis.
    • The pool chlorine hypothesis and asthma among boys.

      Cotter, A; Ryan, C A; Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, UCC, Cork University Maternity, Hospital, Wilton, Cork. (2012-01-31)
      Swimming pool sanitation has largely been concerned with the microbiological quality of pool water, which is normally treated using a number of chlorine products. Recent studies have pointed to the potential hazards of chlorine by-products to the respiratory epithelium, particularly in indoor, poorly ventilated, pools. The aim of our study was to elucidate whether chronic exposure to indoor chlorinated swimming pools was associated with an increased likelihood of the development of asthma in boys. METHODS: The subjects were boys aged between 6 and 12 years. Data was collected by means of parental responses to a standardized asthma questionnaire (ISAAC: International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood), supplemented with additional questions regarding frequency of attendance, number of years attendance, whether the child is a swimming team member. The questionnaire return rate was 71/% (n = 121). 23 boys were excluded on the basis that they had asthma before they started swimming (n = 97). There was a significant association between number of years a boy had been swimming and the likelihood of wheezing in the last 12 months (p = 0.009; OR = 1.351; 95% CI = 1.077-1.693) and diagnosed asthma (p = 0.046; OR = 1.299; 95% CI = 1.004-1.506). The greater the number the number of years a boy had been attending an indoor, chlorinated pool, the greater the likelihood of wheezing in the last 12 months or "had asthma". Age, parental smoking habits and being a swimming team member had no association with any of the asthma variables examined. Swimming pool attendance may be a risk factor in asthma in boys.
    • Pregnancy and the risk of autoimmune disease.

      Khashan, Ali S; Kenny, Louise C; Laursen, Thomas M; Mahmood, Uzma; Mortensen, Preben B; Henriksen, Tine B; O'Donoghue, Keelin; Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cork University, Maternity Hospital, University College Cork, Wilton, Cork, Republic of Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      Autoimmune diseases (AID) predominantly affect women of reproductive age. While basic molecular studies have implicated persisting fetal cells in the mother in some AID, supportive epidemiological evidence is limited. We investigated the effect of vaginal delivery, caesarean section (CS) and induced abortion on the risk of subsequent maternal AID. Using the Danish Civil Registration System (CRS) we identified women who were born between 1960 and 1992. We performed data linkage between the CRS other Danish national registers to identify women who had a pregnancy and those who developed AID. Women were categorised into 4 groups; nulligravida (control group), women who had 1st child by vaginal delivery, whose 1st delivery was by CS and who had abortions. Log-linear Poisson regression with person-years was used for data analysis adjusting for several potential confounders. There were 1,035,639 women aged >14 years and 25,570 developed AID: 43.4% nulligravida, 44.3% had their first pregnancy delivered vaginally, 7.6% CS and 4.1% abortions. The risk of AID was significantly higher in the 1st year after vaginal delivery (RR = 1.1[1.0, 1.2]) and CS (RR = 1.3[1.1, 1.5]) but significantly lower in the 1st year following abortion (RR = 0.7[0.6, 0.9]). These results suggest an association between pregnancy and the risk of subsequent maternal AID. Increased risks of AID after CS may be explained by amplified fetal cell traffic at delivery, while decreased risks after abortion may be due to the transfer of more primitive fetal stem cells. The increased risk of AID in the first year after delivery may also be related to greater testing during pregnancy.
    • Prolonged faecal excretion following a single dose of probiotic in low birth weight infants.

      McGee, Richard; O'Connor, Paula M; Russell, David; Dempsey, Eugene M; Ryan, Anthony C; Ross, Paul R; Stanton, Catherine; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
    • Risk of affective disorders following prenatal exposure to severe life events: a Danish population-based cohort study.

      Khashan, Ali S; McNamee, Roseanne; Henriksen, Tine B; Pedersen, Marianne G; Kenny, Louise C; Abel, Kathryn M; Mortensen, Preben B; Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University College , Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. a.khashan@ucc.ie (2012-01-31)
      OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of prenatal exposure to severe life events on risk of affective disorders in the offspring. METHODS: In a cohort of 1.1 million Danish births from May 1978 until December 1997, mothers were considered exposed if one (or more) of their close relatives died or was diagnosed with serious illness up to 6 months before conception or during pregnancy. Offspring were followed up from their 10th birthday until their death, migration, onset of affective disorder or 31 December 2007; hospital admissions were identified by linkage to the Central Psychiatric Register. Log-linear Poisson regression was used for data analysis. RESULTS: The risk of affective disorders was increased in male offspring whose mothers were exposed to severe life events during the second trimester (adjusted RR 1.55 [95% CI 1.05-2.28]). There was an increased risk of male offspring affective disorders in relation to maternal exposure to death of a relative in the second trimester (adjusted RR 1.74 [95% CI 1.06-2.84]) or serious illness in a relative before pregnancy (adjusted RR 1.44 [95% CI 1.02-2.05]). There was no evidence for an association between prenatal exposure to severe life events and risk of female offspring affective disorders. CONCLUSIONS: Our population-based study suggests that prenatal maternal exposure to severe life events may increase the risk of affective disorders in male offspring. These findings are consistent with studies of populations exposed to famine and earthquake disasters which indicate that prenatal environment may influence the neurodevelopment of the unborn child.
    • Secondary recurrent miscarriage is associated with previous male birth.

      Ooi, Poh Veh; Russell, Noirin; O'Donoghue, Keelin; Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College, Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      Secondary recurrent miscarriage (RM) is defined as three or more consecutive pregnancy losses after delivery of a viable infant. Previous reports suggest that a firstborn male child is associated with less favourable subsequent reproductive potential, possibly due to maternal immunisation against male-specific minor histocompatibility antigens. In a retrospective cohort study of 85 cases of secondary RM we aimed to determine if secondary RM was associated with (i) gender of previous child, maternal age, or duration of miscarriage history, and (ii) increased risk of pregnancy complications. Fifty-three women (62.0%; 53/85) gave birth to a male child prior to RM compared to 32 (38.0%; 32/85) who gave birth to a female child (p=0.002). The majority (91.7%; 78/85) had uncomplicated, term deliveries and normal birth weight neonates, with one quarter of the women previously delivered by Caesarean section. All had routine RM investigations and 19.0% (16/85) had an abnormal result. Fifty-seven women conceived again and 33.3% (19/57) miscarried, but there was no significant difference in failure rates between those with a previous male or female child (13/32 vs. 6/25, p=0.2). When patients with abnormal results were excluded, or when women with only one previous child were considered, there was still no difference in these rates. A previous male birth may be associated with an increased risk of secondary RM but numbers preclude concluding whether this increases recurrence risk. The suggested association with previous male birth provides a basis for further investigations at a molecular level.
    • Secondary recurrent miscarriage is associated with previous male birth.

      Ooi, Poh Veh; Russell, Noirin; O'Donoghue, Keelin; Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland. (2011-01)
      Secondary recurrent miscarriage (RM) is defined as three or more consecutive pregnancy losses after delivery of a viable infant. Previous reports suggest that a firstborn male child is associated with less favourable subsequent reproductive potential, possibly due to maternal immunisation against male-specific minor histocompatibility antigens. In a retrospective cohort study of 85 cases of secondary RM we aimed to determine if secondary RM was associated with (i) gender of previous child, maternal age, or duration of miscarriage history, and (ii) increased risk of pregnancy complications. Fifty-three women (62.0%; 53/85) gave birth to a male child prior to RM compared to 32 (38.0%; 32/85) who gave birth to a female child (p=0.002). The majority (91.7%; 78/85) had uncomplicated, term deliveries and normal birth weight neonates, with one quarter of the women previously delivered by Caesarean section. All had routine RM investigations and 19.0% (16/85) had an abnormal result. Fifty-seven women conceived again and 33.3% (19/57) miscarried, but there was no significant difference in failure rates between those with a previous male or female child (13/32 vs. 6/25, p=0.2). When patients with abnormal results were excluded, or when women with only one previous child were considered, there was still no difference in these rates. A previous male birth may be associated with an increased risk of secondary RM but numbers preclude concluding whether this increases recurrence risk. The suggested association with previous male birth provides a basis for further investigations at a molecular level.
    • Undiagnosed coeliac disease in a father does not influence birthweight and preterm birth.

      Khashan, Ali S; Kenny, Louise C; McNamee, Roseanne; Mortensen, Preben B; Pedersen, Marianne G; McCarthy, Fergus P; Henriksen, Tine B; Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College, Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Ireland. a.khashan@ucc.ie (2012-01-31)
      There is conflicting evidence regarding the effect of coeliac disease (CD) in the father on birthweight and preterm birth. We investigated the association between paternal CD and birthweight and preterm birth. Medical records of all singleton live-born children in Denmark between 1 January 1979 and 31 December 2004 were linked to information about parents' diseases. Fathers who were diagnosed with CD were then identified. Fathers with CD were considered treated if they were diagnosed before pregnancy and untreated if they were diagnosed after the date of conception. The outcome measures were: birthweight, small-for-gestational age (birthweight<10th centile for gestational age) and preterm birth (<37 weeks). We compared the offspring of men without CD (n = 1 472 352) and offspring of those with CD [untreated (n = 138) and treated (n = 473)]. There was no significant association between untreated CD in the father and birthweight (adjusted mean difference = -3 g; [95% CI -46, 40]) or preterm birth (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 0.86, [95% CI 0.53, 1.37]) (compared with no CD). There was some evidence for an association between treated paternal CD and birthweight (adjusted mean difference = -81 g; [95% CI -161, -3]), but not preterm birth (adjusted OR = 1.76, [95% CI 0.95, 3.26]). Untreated paternal CD was not associated with an increased risk of reduced birthweight, or of preterm birth. There was some evidence that diagnosis and presumed treatment of paternal CD with a gluten-free diet is associated with reduced birthweight.
    • Uptake of newly introduced universal BCG vaccination in newborns.

      Braima, O; Rigney, A; Ryan, C A; Murphy, C; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork. (2012-01-31)
      Universal neonatal BCG vaccination was discontinued in Cork in 1972. Following an outbreak of TB in 2 creches in the HSE South, a universal BCG vaccination program was re-introduced in October 2008. The aim of this study was to determine the vaccination process (in-hospital and community) and the in-hospital uptake of the vaccine. Following informed parental consent, babies of birth weight > 2.5 Kg were eligible for in-hospital vaccination if they were not: febrile, jaundiced on phototherapy, on antibiotics and if not born to HIV- positive mothers. Parents of babies not vaccinated in-hospital were asked to book an appointment in either of the 2 Cork community clinics. The immunisation nurse collected data on BCG vaccination, prospectively. This study examined vaccination uptakes in-hospital and community over a 6 month period (October 2008 to March 2009). There were 4018 deliveries during the study period. In-hospital consent was declined in only 16 babies (<1%) while the in-hospital vaccination uptake was 80% of total liv births. Although 635 newborns were admitted to the NICU, only 46 (8%) were vaccinated while in the NICU. At least 48% of planned community vaccination has been achieved to date. In conclusion, in-hospital consent was almost universal and vaccination uptake was satisfactory. NICU exclusion criteria accounted for a significant proportion of non-vaccination in-hospital. These criteria need to be readdressed considering that all premature babies are given other routine newborn vaccines at 2 months of age, regardless of weight.